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Water demand under alternative price structures

  • Olmstead, Sheila M.
  • Michael Hanemann, W.
  • Stavins, Robert N.

We estimate the price elasticity of water demand with household-level data, structurally modeling the piecewise-linear budget constraints imposed by increasing-block pricing. We develop a mathematical expression for the unconditional price elasticity of demand under increasing-block prices and compare conditional and unconditional elasticities analytically and empirically. We test the hypothesis that price elasticity may depend on price structure, beyond technical differences in elasticity concepts. Due to the possibility of endogenous utility price structure choice, observed differences in elasticity across price structures may be due either to a behavioral response to price structure, or to underlying heterogeneity among water utility service areas.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WJ6-4P1P6RN-1/2/cac5f762ca7cafed09262e7ed8212dc1
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 54 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 181-198

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:54:y:2007:i:2:p:181-198
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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  1. R. Bruce Billings & Donald E. Agthe, 1980. "Price Elasticities for Water: A Case of Increasing Block Rates," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(1), pages 73-84.
  2. Burtless, Gary & Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "The Effect of Taxation on Labor Supply: Evaluating the Gary Negative Income Tax Experiments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1103-30, December.
  3. Ellen M. Pint, 1999. "Household Responses to Increased Water Rates during the California Drought," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(2), pages 246-266.
  4. Hausman, Jerry A., 1985. "Taxes and labor supply," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 213-263 Elsevier.
  5. Erin T. Mansur & Sheila M. Olmstead, 2007. "The Value of Scarce Water: Measuring the Inefficiency of Municipal Regulations," NBER Working Papers 13513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hausmann, J. A. & Kinnucan, M. & McFaddden, D., 1979. "A two-level electricity demand model : Evaluation of the connecticut time-of-day pricing test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 263-289, August.
  7. MICHAEL Nieswiadomy & STEVEN L. Cobb, 1993. "Impact Of Pricing Structure Selectivity On Urban Water Demand," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(3), pages 101-113, 07.
  8. Moffitt, Robert, 1986. "The Econometrics of Piecewise-Linear Budget Constraints: A Survey and Exposition of the Maximum Likelihood Method," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(3), pages 317-28, July.
  9. Michael L. Nieswiadomy & David J. Molina, 1989. "Comparing Residential Water Demand Estimates under Decreasing and Increasing Block Rates Using Household Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(3), pages 280-289.
  10. Christopher Timmins, 2003. "Demand-Side Technology Standards Under Inefficient Pricing Regimes," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(1), pages 107-124, September.
  11. Jasper M. Dalhuisen & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & JHenri L. F. de Groot & Peter Nijkamp, 2003. "Price and Income Elasticities of Residential Water Demand: A Meta-Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 292-308.
  12. Moffitt, Robert, 1990. "The Econometrics of Kinked Budget Constraints," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 119-39, Spring.
  13. James E. T. Moncur & Richard L. Pollock, 1988. "Scarcity Rents for Water: A Valuation and Pricing Model," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 64(1), pages 62-72.
  14. S. Gaudin, 2006. "Effect of price information on residential water demand," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 383-393.
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